It’s the story that won’t go away until they make a(nother) shot.
So when the Miami Heat host the Portland Trail Blazers tonight (7:30 p.m. ET, NBA TV), they’re probably hoping to get another chance to make a big bucket down the stretch.
Here are the up-to-date numbers, according to NBA.com StatsCube…
When the score is tied or the Heat are trailing by 1-3 points in the final 30 seconds of the fourth quarter or overtime, they’re shooting 5-for-26 (19.2 percent) from the field. League-wide, shooting is generally bad (31.6 percent) in those situations, but only four teams have been worse than Miami.
Lowest FG%, Last 30 seconds of fourth quarter or OT, tie game or down 1-3
Now, when you look at just the last 10 seconds of the fourth quarter or OT, the Heat’s numbers look even worse. They’re 1-for-18 from the field and 0-for-11 from 3-point range when looking to tie or take the lead. And though league-wide shooting is worse in those situations (25.1 percent) than when you look at the last 30 seconds, that 1-for-18 mark is the worst in the league.
The one make came back on Nov. 20 in Memphis, when LeBron James tied the game with a fast-break dunk off a turnover with 5.5 seconds to go. But on the next possession, Rudy Gay beat the buzzer and beat the Heat with a pull-up fadeaway jumper over James.
So not only are the Heat 1-for-18 in those situations, but the one shot they made was a wide-open, fast-break dunk, not a half-court situation. And they still lost that game.
And it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise that Gay is the guy that victimized them. He’s one of four players with four buckets in the final 30 seconds with the game tied or his team down 1-3.
Most field goals, Last 30 seconds of fourth quarter or OT, tie game or down 1-3
Twelve different players have three makes in that situation. Here’s the list (with number of attempts in parentheses):
Carmelo Anthony (5), Michael Beasley (6), Monta Ellis (5), Tyreke Evans (10), Channing Frye (6), Manu Ginobili (7), Stephen Jackson (9), Tayshaun Prince (4), Charlie Villanueva (7), Deron Williams (9), Mo Williams (4)
One more note: The Heat haven’t done too well in protecting a close lead either. In the final minute of the fourth quarter or overtime, the Heat are just 1-for-6 from the field when they’re ahead by 1-3 points.
Obviously, they go to the line often in that situation, but when it comes to hitting a dagger shot from the field in the final minute, only the Bucks (1-for-8) and Pacers (2-for-13) have been worse. The league as a whole shoots 41.5 percent from the field in that situation.